A laptop belonging to one of the staff members at the Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center was stolen from a Sykes office on Monday, October 21.
According to Mark Leonard, the Director of Campus Safety, the computer was taken by someone who is not affiliated with Andover.
“We believe that somebody may have looked through a window on the ground level, saw the computer on someone’s desk, and then walked in, took it, and then walked out. That’s basically, in a nutshell, what we believe happened,” said Leonard.
Although Sykes does require BlueCard access for students to enter, that morning, the door was unlocked, according to Leonard.
“It was in the morning during the week so the door was open. It wasn’t a breaking and entering type of situation. Some folks were in meetings, so nobody really saw the person come in…but I think in this particular case, the timing of things was such that, [these] kinds of people [can walk] in and come out unnoticed. They were in and out of the building very quickly,” said Leonard.
According to Danny Ferris ’22, the recent theft of the laptop makes him feel unsafe on campus.
“I feel unsafe because of the fact that people are stealing computers on campus… I will keep an eye on my computer and make sure I don’t leave it anywhere for people to steal it,” said Ferris.
Leonard explained that Phillips Academy Public Safety (PAPS) has partnered with the Andover Police Department (A.P.D.) to investigate, and they have found a person of interest.
“I know the Andover Police has the identify of the person..We have been getting out photos and then some video that was pretty helpful and a possible vehicle as well… I know the Andover police department is also actively working on this and they’ve had officers in the area as well,”
Leonard believes that the person of interest had some familiarity with the Andover campus, which allowed the suspect to fit in and go unnoticed in Sykes.
“We think [this person] had a history of this type of activity… It appears as though they may have also done something similar at some other schools. It [seems] as though somebody… made this plan and walked around, as… it’s not a gated campus,” said Leonard.
Claire de Saint Phalle ’21 believes that the circumstance of a laptop being stolen was out of the ordinary.
“If something was stolen from Sykes of all places that’s kind of concerning. I don’t know, it’s very surprising… I hope that person gets their computer back,” said de Saint Phalle.
According to Leonard, PAPS will continue to work with the Andover Police Department to ensure the safety of students after this incident.
“I sent the message out to all the community members on campus who work in offices and things like that just to be aware of the fact that this occurred…[The Andover police officers] are getting the information out [and] they are certainly making extra efforts to be vigilant and keep their eyes open,” said Leonard.